>> please let us know about book fairs and festivals in your area, and we'll add them to our list. post them to our wall at facebook.com/booktv or e-mail us at email@example.com. and now on booktv, ben shapiro contends that liberals are guilty of bullying their opposition and creating an environment that discourages political debate. this heritage foundation event
is a little under an hour. [applause] >> it's always a pleasure to be here: i'm a huge fan of heritage foundation, everything that they do, actually. they were the first outlet to pick up my syndicated column. i do have a fourth book before "bullies," i spoke here at heritage for that too. i'm also the editor at large of breitbart news, so if you're bored or have an ipad, you can tune in at 870.com. i want to start by talking about andrew breitbart. andrew was a mentor of mine. i met andrew when i was 17 years old. he had just seen a column i wrote for the ucla daily bruin, and he was sitting in a greasy taco joint, saw the column and then promptly e-mailed me.
at the time, andrew was just the secret other half of the drudge report. we got together, we became fast friends. and one of the things that andrew and i used to talk about a lot because we knew each other for over a decade before his untimely death, he used to talk a lot about how the left were a bunch of bullies, how what the left really does is try to shut down the debate. their sole goal is to avoid a solid policy discussion by trying to label us bad human beings, racist, sexist, bigot homophobes. and i saw it happen to him personally, they tried to demonize him as kind of a wild man right-winger, crazy person with fire coming out of his ears. andrew was one of the most genial people i ever met. i don't know how many of you ever met andrew, i'm sure some of you did. there were probably 100 million people mourning him, and 95 million of them had at one point met or had lunch with andrew because that's who he was. the main message of his life is
that we have to fight the bully, and that's what being a conservative means, is fighting bullies. the more i got to look into his message, the more i realized how right that was, and that's why i wrote "bullies." in the last few years the left has decided they're not going to debate policy, what is the best way to solve the nation's problems, they're not going to provide evidence. they are going to label us morally deficient human beings unworthy of debate. we see it in virtually every arena of american life. we saw it from colin powell, brian williams and president obama himself. colin powell went on the sunday shows and talked about the so-called dark vein of intolerance that was running throughout the republican party. now, what evidence did he provide for that assertion? that we're not left wing, that we don't believe in climate change or that we don't believe in redistribution of wealth or that we don't believe in obamacare, and if we would just move to the left, suddenly that would make us not racist. now, colin powell above all
should know how not racist our party is considering how much of our party were willing to support him in 1996. this is somebody who's treated very well by the republican party. now colin powell is on the left, and that means that we are the bad guys. president obama did it in his inaugural address just last week also. he said there was a peculiar line in his speech where he said absolutism is not principle, and he said that name calling is not discussion. he then proceeded to spend the rest of his speech name calling and avoiding principle and being an absolutist. he suggested that, essentially, if you disagree with him, you want people in their twilight years to live in poverty, you want parents of disabled kids to have no recourse, you want the poor to suffer, you want black people to stand in line to vote, you want gay people to be treated unequally and women to be paid less than men. that was clearly the undertone of his speech. just yesterday dianne feinstein
leads off her whatever it was, her press conference, she leads it off with a pastor saying that if you're a good christian, you have to be for gun control. if you're a good person, you have to be for gun control because otherwise you don't care that kids are getting killed all around the country in schools and churches and places like sandy hook. this is what the left now stands for. there are several different kinds of bullies that it's worth pointing out. the first section i'm going to discuss what it is that we face, and the other part of it is how we fight this. because the it is an overwhelming attempt by the left to silence the debate, to shut us out from the debate and to cow people into being quiet because it's much easier to go about your daily business not being called a racist, sexist, bigot homophobe who hates every minority. to begin, there are the institutional bullies. now, the right has lost a lot of the institutions. most of my books about institutions, the university system or hollywood or the media. the reason that the right has lost is because we think individually, and the left thinks institutionally. we like to debate people on one
on bun level, we'll go door to door, we'll talk to anybody. we'll have a discussion with people on that individual level. whenever you see somebody getting sucked into a facebook conversation with a leftist friend who's never going to be convinced, it's always a conservative. leftists are too busy taking over the media. the left thinks institutionally. the left wants a top-down dictation of policy. they understand something that we don't. because they think institutionally, because we don't think in terms of top-down control and the left is fond of doing so, they think in terms of instead of let's debate one-on-one, we'll take over the university system, and then we'll use it as a club to leverage millions of young people to believe that right-wingers are bad human beings, or we'll take over hollywood, and then we will force everybody who is mildly conservative out of hollywood in order to leverage our point of view down the throats of the american people. they do it with regard to nonprofits too. they combine with the government. look at what president obama just did in shifting his campaign into a 501c4 lobbying
group. he also opened the door in an executive order to funding that from the goth. he really understands the battle. he understands the fight. he's very, very smart, and he understands he can use outside institution like media matters, he can use outside institutions like organizing for action, what was obama for america, he can use those institutions to push positions he cannot do as president of the united states. he combines with those institutions to push forward that agenda and to silence people and to launch boycotts and secondary boycotts against anybody who disagrees. we now live in a country where if you abide by the basic laws of economics, you are an enemy of this administration. if you are phil mickelson and say the taxes in california are too high, i'm leaving, then you are told that you are somehow a bad person. there's something wrong with you. now, there are a lot of people who have left california because the taxes are too high. i think every day about whether to leave california because of the tax rate. that's because economics economists.
exists. the left doesn't think they do. so when wendy's says obamacare is going to cost money, perhaps we'll have to cut back hours, and the left responds with if you do that, we'll boycott you, that is an argument that if you disagree with the effect even of what obama's policies do with leftist policies do, then there's something wrong with you. you made a moral decision to cut back those hours, not an economic decision to cut back those hours. leaving aside the institutional bullies for a second, there's several types of bullying that the left of loves to engage, and their favorite, of course, is racial bullying. it's their favorite thing. the reason for that is that the left's philosophy is based almost solely and completely at this point on the idea that they stand a up for victim eyesed groups. everything they do is to stand up on behalf of some victimized minority. blacks, jews, gays, women, doesn't matter. they're standing up for you. if we oppose their policies, by necessity the logic is we hate blacks, gays, jews and women.
that is sort of the philosophy they trot out. it also means they treat people who are positive tates as though there's something wrong with them. if you're jewish and conservative as i am, you're not a real jew because that gives a lie to their entire avenn ca. -- agenda. how can they claim to be standing up for all these victimized majorities? if larry elder is a black man and disagrees with them, he's not a good black man. he's betrayed his race. that is the philosophy of the left when it comes to race. now, what they do, the tactics are really what's interesting here. we all know they use the term racism far too often. voter id, not racist. but the left says that you're a racist if you think that maybe, just maybe, they should check the name on the voter form with your id to make sure that you're not voting for eric holder, right? they think that that is a racist thing. what they love to do, their favorite tactic, though, is to take a single flashpoint incident, use the media to blow
this up into like the biggest thing that ever happened in the history of humanity, imply that all of america is based on the same racism that caused this incident and then say and the solution to that racism is liberalism. one of the best examples we saw of that was last year in the george zimmerman case. the george zimmerman case was the greatest case of media malpractice, i think, in american history. the only one that would come close was trying to cover up genocide in the ukraine. but the attempt by the media, a very clear attempt, to frame george zimmerman, really frame him, was obvious, and it was politically motivated. it was obvious what they were trying to do. what actually happened in the george zimmerman case is a hispanic man was trailing a black man that he thought was engaged in possible criminal or suspicious behavior. he called 911. he got out of his car. he was confronted by the black man who proceeded to pound this man's head into the ground until he shot him. every investigation has shown that is what happened, there is
nothing to contradict george zimmerman's account of events which is why he was released in the first place. the media promptly turned this into what jesse jackson termed it as, white man tracks down black man, shoots him in the back of the head. george zimmerman was having his head pounded against the pavement. the way the media played it is that george zimmerman had never been injured, he was stalking him for fun and decided to shoot a black guy, and they cut the 911 tapes. now nbc's being sued because of that. they took the 911 tape in which george zimmerman was specifically asked what is the race of the person that you're following, they said he's black. nbc cut that tape so it sounds like what george zimmerman is saying is it sounds like he's suspicious, he's black. they used this flashpoint incident as an excuse to push liberal policy. here's how it works. they send al sharpton down there to talk about how the sanford
police department is massively racist, and that, in general, is just a symptom of the unbelievable racism that pervades america. it's still a huge problem in america. racism happens all the time. as president obama and many others put it, they're really -- al sharpton did this a lot and people in congress walking on the floor of the house in hoodies, when they went -- the argument that they were making is that this is just one black guy that this happened to, it happens all the time. white people track down black people, and they kill them. racism is just as bad if not worse than it was back in 1975. this argument rose all the way to the level of the presidency. the president saying if i had a son, he would look like trayvon martin which is eminently untrue. trayson martin was tattooed, if you saw the current pictures of him, i highly doubt you're going to see sasha or malia with a grill at any point in the future. essentially, all black people are treated the same by white people in this country. this is a racist country and,
therefore, if you don't believe in my political prescription, you hate me for the similar reason that george zimmerman hated trayvon martin, because i'm black. there was also a secondary attempt here. there's a group called the american legislative exchange council. big group, lot of corporations fund it. they push quasiconservative principles all over the country. they pushed the stand your ground law. now, you all remember, the media played it as though george zimmerman shot trayvon martin, turned around and said stand your ground. the police didn't cite him, didn't free him under the stand your ground law, they freed him because there was no probable cause to keep him there. but this all-out assault on the stand your ground law that says if you attacked, you don't have to retreat, you can fight back, the whole point was to leverage it against a.l.e.c., a big fan of voter id, and so a.l.e.c. had
to be finished. and the way to do that was to say that a.l.e.c. was somehow responsible for this horrible racial murder that happened in sanford, florida. and by doing that, they actually -- then they went to color of change and media matters, and they had them leverage a boycott against a.l.e. cre.. they were so heavily boycotted that they had to pull off the stand your ground laws completely. they cut back on their voter id effort, and people actually pulled their money. koch pulled their money from them, pulled their cash. the left is interested only in silencing people with this sort of stuff. that is their main focus. and they, again, they think institutionally. they're very clever. what they're doing with this gun control stuff, this isn't about gun control. they're not going to pass one shred of this. what this is about is targeting and demonizing the nra so that opponent goes away. think about it for half a second. what did the nra have to do with sandy hook? the answer is nothing. connecticut is one of the most
heavily gun-regulated stated in the country. the nra had not written any of the legislation in connecticut. the nra is a privately-funded institution that receives no tax dollars. did you see anybody being drilled from the aclu about violet video games? they were grilling the head of the nra and saying you need to change your position. he's the head of an interest group. it's his job not to change position. [laughter] but the left expects that he's going to, and they're going to demonize him until he does, because the nra must be finished. this is their tactical maneuver. we see it from class warfare on the fiscal cliff. it turns out that we don't want what's best for americans, we just want to help rich folks. it turns out, you know, when it comes to sexual politics it's not that we believe -- for good reason -- in traditional marriage, that a child deserves a mother and father. none of that's true, it's just that we hate gay people, and we're just terrible human beings. we see it with regard to god and
secularism. if you believe in god and you believe that your values ought to be expressed in the public square in even the most minute way, it is because you are a thug who wants to hurt people. now, what all of this does is justify ofs the most vile tactics on the left. i think a good example of this i don't know how many of you saw my interview with pearce morgan on cnn. what he does, his tactic has always been to go up there and then say that whoever opposes him on gun policy, he did this to newt gingrich last night, whoever opposes him on gun policy, it's because they don't give a damn about the dead kids in sandy hook. it is a vile, reprehensible, disgusting tactic. but it really is a microcosm of what the left does on a regular basis. i can't remember the last time that the left didn't use this tactic. when president obama trots out 7 yielders to stand -- 7-year-olds to stand behind him as he's announcing gun control legislation, and then he puts on the white house web site videos
of these same 7-year-olds reading letters to the president clearly written by their parents, and i'm unaware of the point in which 7-year-olds became the best guide to solving these problems in the country. we are supposed to make policy like a 7-year-old would. so when you have a little girl in a red dress shouting into the camera no guns, no guns as president obama does, we are supposed to take that at face value. the left's entire tactic is to trot out victims and then claim that we hate the victims so that they can do what they want to do. so here's how you fight this. here's how you fight this. this is, i think it worked well in the piers debate. the first thing we have to do is frame our opponents. we cannot be civil. civility loses arguments. civility does not work. we have been civil for the last 30 years, and we have been doing nothing but losing. the last time we were uncivil was the tea party in 2010, and we had a massive victory. civility loses. civility is like the geneva
convention, okay? [laughter] here's how it works. if you're in uniform, the geneva convention is designed to apply to you, right, because that incentivizes people to stay in uniform so we can distinguish you from civilians. that's the whole point of the geneva convention. once you get out of uniform, then the geneva conventions don't apply. if you're going to violate the rules, you do not get the benefit of the rules on the other end. the same thing is true of of civility. if someone is willing to have a civil conversation with you, be perfectly civil. if somebody is going to be a piers morgan type, if they're going to be a bully, a thug -- because these folks are thugs -- if they're going to do that, then don't treat them civilly. that doesn't mean do an alex jones and start shouting randomly like a crazy person. what it does mean is that you need to say things to them to force them back into the mode of political discussion. if you'll notice what happened with piers is i led off the interview. i did say he was off the rails.
then he said why did you say that, and i said it's because you're a bully, and you stand on the graves of the kids in sandy hook in order to push your political agenda by implying that anyone who disagrees with you is morally deficient. his comeback was how dare you. he clutched his pearls while he was doing it. [laughter] to which i said how dare you is not an argument. and then he said how dare or you again. he said, i repeat, how dare you. i said, that's still not an argument. the fact is that i've seen his show many times, and that's exactly what he does. now, the reason i did that was twofold. one is that it was fun. [laughter] the other is that it forced him not to use that tactic. because we're like -- think of left like magicians. they are, they're magicians. they don't have facts, they don't have evidence on their side. what they have is slight of hand. and they're fantastic at it. they're the best close-up magicians you you have ever see. it's our job to be the guy who runs the magic show, the guy who
watches all the magic video, and we're just shouting that the rabbit is at the bottom of that hat, and if you remove that false panel, there's a rabbit down there. so that's what i was doing with piers. not only did i take that away from him, it was really interesting. if you watched the rest of the show after that interview, after i left, he brought out a kid who had been paralyze inside a gun shooting. this is what he does. we can have discussions with folks who have been shot. we're all trying to figure out the best way to prevent people from being shot. we all have good intentions here. it's disgusting that they imply that we don't. he actually brought the kid out between two segments. he's talking frantically with his producer, and they're bringing out boxes of pseudofed for him -- sudafed for him to use as a horrible prop, and they bring out this kid and put him in the audience. it's pretty clear that they are
planning to swivel the camera around to the kid who's been paralyze inside many a shooting to pose the image of contrast. here's this young guy, he's perfectly healthy and a gun owner, and he doesn't care about this kid who's been paralyzed in a shooting because i had said to piers that he was going to do it, he couldn't do it. if he had done it, i would have immediately said to him, piers, you are standing on the graves of the kids in sandy hook, now you're standing on this poor person's wheelchair to push your point. so that's the reason it's important to debunk their tactics, and it's something we have to be doing on a consistent basis. now, the second thing we ought to do is we need to frame the debate. one of the big moments from that debate is when i pulled the constitution out, i pulled out a copy of the constitution, and i handed it to him. number one, it was fun. but number two, i was handing him the constitution because it framed the debate. the vulnerability in piers' entire world view is he pretends he cares about the second
amendment. everybody who knows him knows he doesn't care about the second amendment. by pulling out the constitution, i was forcing him to fess up. if you like this constitution, then you have to explain to me why you like the second amendment. and then explain to me how the gun control proposals that you're making don't violate that basic philosophical injunction against infringing on the right of the people to bear arms, right? you need to reconcile for me how you're pro-huge gun control and also pro-second amendment. throughout the entire interview, he couldn't answer why he was for the second amendment. and when i forced him tock consistent on -- him to be consistent on his philosophy, by putting it in constitutional context, he had no place to go. setting up the philosophical inconsistencies of his argument, that's the third point. once i said to him, piers, you have no philosophic basis for what you're doing. you want to get rid of assault weapons because they're killing machines? well, i'll tell you a killing machine that kills more people, it's called a handgun.
you said on air you don't want to ban handguns, so how is it you want to ban rifles but not handguns? do you not care about the black kids in chicago? is it just the white kids in sandy hook you care about? so forcing him to fess up to that, he couldn't answer. there was actually a point in the interview where he says we'll get back to that, and he never gets back to it. the fourth point here, don't get sidetracked. all magic is based on distraction. that's why they have the pretty girl on the stage. the point is to get people sidetracked on nonsensical issues. i'll talk at the end here why mihm lost, and it's because -- mitt romney lost, and it's because he didn't do any of these things. the reason that they use distractions like big bird and contraception is so we don't pay attention to the fact that the economy blows. the economy's horrible. everybody knows the economy's horrible. so let's talk about condoms, right? that was, essentially, how the
left ran that campaign. we cannot be sidetracked by that. we are always playing defense. because thai saying you're -- they're saying you're a bad person, the natural human instinct is to say, no i'm not. i'm not a bad person. why are you saying? you know? i'm not a racist. how can you call me -- you have no evidence for that. what our first instinct needs to be is to go on the offensive. they are the real racists for defacing the term racism to apply to things that are clearly and eminently not race racist. if you call something anti-semitic that had nothing to do with jews, that's an anti-semitic move because you're watering it down to apply to things that do not apply. when they're calling people racist without any basis, it's like the boy who cried wolf. they're making room for real racists to be lumped into the category of rational people who are for voter id, for example. one of the things, i mentioned the sudafed thing earlier. he took out like six boxes of
sudafed and put them on the table, and then he says here's the sudafed, i wasn't allowed to buy six of these at a time, so why should anybody be allowed to buy a thousand bullets at a time? which there's no logical connection between the two policies. i mean, i could be against both policies, i could be for both policies, against one and for the other, and that's what i said. if you want to talk drug policy, i'll come back on. if you want to talk gun policy, why don't we talk that. and he had no place to go because he wants to talk about sudafed. as i said later, don't bring boxes of sudafed to a constitution fight. which brings me to the fifth point which is don't be intimidated. it's very intimidating to be in rooms with a bunch of liberals, and we're going to have to go into hostile environments. it's not a bad thing. it gives us an opportunity to convince people. don't be intimidated by the thug tactics. there was a point in the interview with piers said do you
understand how absurd you sound? i said to him, that's not an argument. if you want to bring people on just so you can insult them and avoid the argument, that's cool. i'm happy to be a scapegoat for you so you can abuse people. but if you actually want to have a discussion, if you're serious about this issue, let's talk. not being intimidated is, it's half the battle because it's so easy to be intimidated when someone calls you nasty names. it's easy to be intimidated. the only thing you can do is fight back twice as hard. sixth point here, if you don't know something, admit it right off the bat. because this is how the left likes to trick people. what they do is you're in the middle of an argument, and all of a sudden they change the topic to something wildly off topic. you're talking about the fiscal cliff, and suddenly you're getting a lecture on why you hate gay people. here's a letter signed and stamped from ronald reagan showing you hate gay people. and you don't know what they're talking about. this is completely random information. what are you saying? the answer to that is not to pretend -- the initial reaction
is, oh, i kind of know what you're talking about, you know? just the human response, the ego is i know what you're talking about, let me try and deal with this. say right up front i don't know what you're talking about, and if you want, you know, if you want to talk about it, let me do the research. i don't discuss things that i don't know about. it takes it off the table immediately. if it doesn't take it off the table and they continue to press forward, they look like a bully because it is a bullying tactic. you don't ask a seventh grader to do calculus unless they're a genius, you don't have them to do college calculus. and if you said you don't do calculus, and the kid said, you're right, you don't. wait until the kid learns calculus, and then you can discuss the vagaries of derivatives. one of the things piers did in the debate is he took out a letter from ronald reagan, and he said ronald reagan was for the assault weapons ban.
now, i'll admit i have no clue what he was talking about, i didn't know about that letter. now i know, i've done the research. what he was talking about was a different assault weapons ban. in any case, he pulled out this letter, and i had no clue what he was talking about. it was out of left field. and i said to him, piers, i don't know what you're talking about. i said why don't you read it to me? i knew he was going to anyway. so he proceeded to read it to me. and at the end of it i said, so -- and that was the end of the point. which brings us to the seventh point which is don't force yourself to lump yourself in with people who you don't have to agree with all the time. you're an individual. you don't have to mirror the republican party platform if you don't agree with the republican party platform. you don't have to defend george w. bush if he's wrong. you don't have to agree with ronald reagan on everything. he was a wonderful president, he budget a god. we get -- he wasn't a god. with bush, bush would spend too much money, and then you'd find yourself debating why it's okay for bush to spend a lot of money. the answer is it wasn't okay for
bush to spend a lot of money. it's easy for them to trap us with this. they tried to do it on men because si too. -- benghazi too. well, the answer to that is okay, so? how does that justify intelligence failures now? first of all, we can argue whether, you know, whether it's the same degree, we can argue whether it's the same kind, we can argue if it was ignored, we can argue all of these things, but that is an irrelevant point. it has nothing to do with what we're talking about right now. and that is an important thing, don't get sucked into defending positions that you don't agree with and are not comfortable with. the seventh point here, um, is -- sorry, the eighth point here, actually, is let the other side have victories that don't mean anything. this is a fun thing to do, and it works really well. it makes you look moderate. during the debate with piers there's a point where he says to me -- i say to him everybody wants, there's no problem, i don't understand what your point is, why you want to take guns
away from 300 million law-abiding americans. nobody wants bad people to have guns, let's try and figure out the best way to make this happen. and he immediately went to adam lanza's mom, was she good or bad? i said, i don't know her, i don't know if she's good or bad. she was of irresponsible. he said, ah, but it was good versus bad. you're right, i misspoke. it's responsible versus irresponsible. so you could see it on the tape, piers kind of puffed out his chest, and then he realized i hadn't begin him anything, it was a semantic win. it's okay to give them semantic wins, it makes you look reasonable. the fact is i should have said irresponsible versus responsible. i shouldn't have said good versus bad because it's too vague. there's a difference between a bad cold and hitler. bad can be used in many different senses. so it was something that i was willing to hand him because it wasn't a win for him. and that's something that we can do on a frequent basis. the left does this all the time.
you know, obama trots out john boehner and says we just had a meeting. look what a bipartisan i am. he's not handing john boehner a victory. in a certain sense he is by elevating him to the power of the presidency, and it appeals to john boehner's ego. but john boehner, you know, he doesn't get a win out of that. obama gets the win, because then he gets to come out and say look what a bipartisan guy i am. i was in the room with these folks, i had a nice conversation, and then i told him he was a jack as, and i threw -- jack ass and threw him out. his inaugural was we're going to reach out to the other side, we're going to try to make things happen, and if things don't happen, then that's their fault. [laughter] thank you for that bipartisanship. he understands the tactic. we ought to be doing it at the same time. hand them victories that mean nothing. it's fine. you can do that and not feel bad about it. the ninth point here is to try and reverse the polarity as fast as possible in a situation.
when i was on with piers, he is the host, i'm the guest. within three minutes i was asking piers the questions. that is the way to do this thing. every time we go on with george stephanopoulos, he's a bully. he's a massive bully. he's one of the biggest bullies in the america. nobody sees him that way because of his boyish good looks and youthful charm, but -- [laughter] he's a massive bully. he was in the clinton war room, and now he pretends he's an objective journalist. that's what george stephanopoulos does, that's his entire shtick. instead of going in there and playing on his terms and playing on his terms, we need to reverse the polarity. his polarity is i'm objective, you're not objective, i'm going to ask you questions and make you look horrible, and you're going to sit there and let me make you look horrible. before he says anything say, george, look, i'm really excited to be here, i'm really happy to be here, thank you for giving me
access to you and your audience, really appreciate it. before we get started, i just want to point something out to the audience. i'm conservative, i say it openly. george, you're a liberal masquerading as an objective journalist. you're somebody who was in the clinton war room, you take talking points from the bole administration. so we can have a perfectly nice and simple conversation, but i want our biases on the table at the outset. if i am questioning the premise of your question, that's not because i'm being combative, it's because you're coming from the opposite political viewpoint of mine, and it is a perfectly fair tactic to do this. newt gingrich did this during the presidential debates when he would go after the questioner. that was the stuff that newt was doing the best. that's what made people like newt really. and that is what we ought to be doing, reverse the polarity. they are not in control. and if you think that the audience is stacked against you, if you think that it's really going to be so stacked there's no way to overcome its, don't go. not every camera is an
opportunity, okay? you don't have to be the can kim kardashian of politics. not every time there's a camera out there, you have to run it. piers asked me on to his show after this whole thing happened. he was trying to pressure me into coming on for a rematch. and he said i want to have, you know, an even debate this time. this time, i tweeted him back, this time, i thought it was one-on-one last time. that's about as even as you can get. is this going to be one-on-one? no, it's not. so i accused you of standing on the graves of the kids of sandy hook, and ask your response is to bring victims as a club against me. that's what you're going to do now. and he said, yeah, that's what i'm going to do. i said that's okay with me as long as i get one-on-one time with you. all i wanted was a guarantee that i would get 30 seconds with him so i could point out the tactic that he was using. it would have been very bad for me to be on with these victims because it is disgusting and
disreputable that the left's main tactic is trotting out victims as though they are experts on victims. you do not debate with someone who are in a time of grief. my aunt died when she was 42 of breast cancer, didn't make me an expert on prevention or treatment of breast cappser, and it would have been -- cannes or, and it would have been disgusting. what the left does is trot those people out because they understand it's an emotional argument, not a real argument. i was willing to take that hit in order to let people know what piers was doing because it was just that bad. but if it's going to be stacked against you, don't walk in the door. i was not going to go in there for a shame festival where i go in and am confronted with a bunch of victims of sandy hook and have them yell at me. i'm happy to be their pinata if it would make them feel better. it's piers' choice to abuse and misuse them. it is the media's choice to trot these people out.
tenth point is maybe the most important one of all. body language matters in all of this. it really matters. it sounds trite, but it's true. in the debate with piers, he was up on me. he was up on the desk, he was clearly angry. i was sitting back, you know, open hands, and some of that's conscious, some of it's not. i was having a good time, i'll be honest. but when it comes to body language, too many on our side of the aisle don't understand the importance of it. so you'll see folks sitting forward and hunched over. john mccain had horrible body language, it was one of the reasons he lost. of he always looked like he was either on the attack or about to get attacked. and part of that was because of his injuries, but part of that is sort of because it's who he is as a human being. my last book was about tv. the left understands this. they understand that images matter. they understand that all of this, what people see is what they believe. if it were down to pure reason, we'd never lose an election.
as it is, it's astonishing to me we ever win elections as bad as we are at this stuff. okay. so those are kind of the ten points. frame your opponent, frame the debate, set up a -- set up all the philosophical inconsistencies with your opponent's positions and exploit them. force them to defend the points that they say they defend, because there's not a leftist alive in government who's going to tell you the truth about what they really believe. dianne feinstein wants to take all of your guns. she can't explain why she doesn't want to take all of your guns. that's something she should be forced to defend. please explain why this gun but not this gun should be banned. don't get sidetracked, that's number four. don't get intimidated by them. walk toward the fire, as andrew used to say. if you don't know something be, admit it. that's number six. number seven, let the other side have those victories that don't mean anything because it makes you look moderate and reasonable, and they don't mean mig, and if you're wrong, you should admit it because that is
the reasonable thing to do. spit it out there, admit it. it works for obama. if obama can admit up front that he used to do cocaine and that doesn't have any impact, it's not going to hurt you if somebody's right on an argument. number eight is don't get sucked in by that paradigm. don't let them force you to defend somebody else's position you don't believe in. it's not your job to defend it. you're an individual, not a member of a group. you're a conservative, but if you don't believe certain things, don't bother to defend it because you're not going to be a good spokesperson. make sure those positions they want to take, don't buy into that, and number ten is the body language thing. train. it's something that's worthwhile. now, why mitt romney lost the 2012 election. it's because of the bullying. on a fundamental level, it's because of the bullying, and it's because the right does not get it. and mitt romney did not get it. think about it for just a second. how did mitt romney try to portray barack obama? he tried to portray him as nice
guy, good family man, good father. seems like somebody you'd want to hang out with. cares about principles, maybe misconstruing them, cares about the constitution, bad president. good guy, bad president. that was the picture that romney was painting. and you know what? he succeeded in painting that picture. he did. by the end of the election cycle, people kind of understood that obama was the first choice out of default but not because he was of a great president. i don't know that many people unless you're like a hard core dnc person who's building a statue of him in your home, you don't think obama's a great president. he hasn't helped the american people. the picture that obama painted of mitt romney had nothing to do with policy. the picture he painted of him was the worst person since mussolini, right? this is a guy who straps dogs to the tops of cars. this is a guy who forcibly cuts the hair of gay kids when he's in high school. this is the type of guy who will put y'all back in chains. this is the type of person who
has binders full of women because he hates them. this is the type of guy who really wouldn't fire somebody just deliberately so that, you know, for fun because maybe, hopefully, their wife will get cancer and die, right? that's the type of guy that mitt romney is, according to the obama campaign. now, imagine that you're coming into this election knowing nothing about east of the candidate -- either of the candidates. who are you going to vote for? of course you're going to vote for obama. you'd rather vote for the guy that is not evil than the guy who is. and here's the thing, mitt romney did not understand this. he didn't understand this. because here's the logic. by portraying barack obama as a reasonable human being and then having barack obama portray him as a racist, mitt romney's case was that a reasonable person was considering him a racist. do you see that logic? right? he was saying that obama was reasonable, and obama was calling him racist. so by treating obama with civility, he was lending
credence to the charges that obama was making against him on a personal character level. we cannot win like that. the fact is that our enemies in this debate, and they are enemies because they are fighting against constitutional principles, and they're not interested in constitutional principles. and when they engage in tactics like this, those tactics are disgusting. those tackics should not be part of the realm of normal political discourse. the fact that we allow them to and then we go on their shows and treat them like normal human beings, once you see what they're doing, it can't be unseen. when you watch the media and you see the questions they're asking, you'll see there's a pa patina of character assassination always. there's not a single question they're asking where it's not character assassination. when david gregory's brandishing a magazine, he's saying you don't care the kids were killed in sandy hook. that's what he's doing. when you see barack obama saying these republicans don't understand how their economic policy works, what he's really
saying is they stand for rich people, they hate poor people. unless we start labeling our opponents who they are, they're going the continue to win. we have to punch back twice as hard. civility is not the answer. civility is what loses elections. it may win you the moral high ground, but good luck as the tide rises because the tide of liberalism is rising. it is not in retreat. and the only way to force it into retreat, it's not going to be efficient any, guess what, the rails of history? there's a train on them, and train is coming, and it's going to hit us. the only way to fight that train is to have a train moving precisely the same speed or faster in the opposite direction. will there be a crash? sure. but at least it'll derail them, and that's the whole point. thanks so much. [applause] >> i'll try not to flash my pearly whites too much. [laughter] we will be glad to take
questions. if you will, wait for andrew and the microphone, it will be appreciated for the recording of the events here in the room. first question? just a moment for the mic. >> excuse me. >> hi. that was a great, great talk. you know, one of my pet peeves regarding this whole topic of of bullying and how you say the left makes us is the morning joke on msnbc where we have a conservative, supposedly, who is undermining everything we, you know, making it sound like we are morally deficient people and that he wishes we would see the light. what to you make of that? you know -- >> panders for cash, that's what joe scarborough does for a living. i mean, honestly. >> [inaudible] >> he's not conservative. and we should be calling him out on that. if he wants to start acting like a conservative, then start acting like a conservative.
he wants to engage in character assassination so that he makes $8 million a year from msnbc, he can do that too. he doesn't get to sit there and play honest conservative while ripping on every conservative principle. i don't mind msnbc as much as i mind cnn. i want more of their voices heard because the more i hear of them, the worse they sound. the more that there is a lawrence o'donnell out there, the more there's a chris matthews who looked like he just woke up five seconds ago and they threw him in front of a camera -- will have will -- [laughter] the better it is for us. the more george stephanopouloss there are, the worst for us. this guy may not be objective, he might not be objective, in fact, he might be like a race-baiting criminal who incites riots. he might be that kind of person. might, allegedly. um, the -- i'm a happy for msnbc
and these folks to be there. i'm not happy for the folks who pose as objective journalists to be there, and those are the real targets of the attack. don't bother with lawrence to donnell. bother with george stephanopoulos. >> with one over -- [inaudible] >> thank you so much for being such a strong voice for our shared conservative values. i'm from texas, and there's a lot of social issues that, you know, we have all over the country, but down in texas we're very, very conservative in general. i'm wondering what your thoughts are on these social issues looking toward to the next four years and the next election. do we take a federalist position and turn these issues over to the states to attract more independents? how do we counter that and still remain conservative in those values and attract these independents that we need in order to win? >> on the abortion issue, no. the gay marriage issue is a harder one for us because we've allowed ourselves to be framed into the position if you are
anti-gay marriage, you don't like gay people, it's a symptom of us losing the marriage argument in general. the moment that we said it's okay for alternative relationships to exist, they have kids and we started incentivizing that and normalize single motherhood, and once we changed the definition of marriage to be not about kids, right, not about kids. the ancient definition of marriage was the raising and can production of children, that's what marriage was. now marriage is the hollywood concept of marriage which is two people who love each other. the fundamental principle is the same. now, there are arguments that we can use on the other side to that, you know, we constantly run from there, and i do not understand it. people run from the incest argument, you know, the idea that, like, if two brothers want to get married, why can't they? this is where the left gets into kind of moral indignation. how dare you compare homosexuality to insert. you're saying that the principle behind them is the same. if the definition of marriage is
two people who love each other, it's any two people, and you don't get to make distinctions. there are ways to fight that too. i think on a general level as far as where the republican party is going, i think the marriag issue is a more difficult one. i think the life issue is an easier one. that is a matter of education. once people -- it's interesting. when i was 19, i had my syndicated column when i was 17. i didn't care that much about the abortion issue. i just didn't. it wasn't my thing. the older i've gotten, the more i care about the abortion issue and now that i'm married, i obviously care deeply about the abortion issue. the more you learn about science, the more you care about the abortion issue. so on that one it really is, even democrats, i think, are astonish today learn that their party platform calls for you can kill a baby five seconds before it enters the birth canal. they say, oh, you guys are extremists because you want to go all the way back to conception. they're the ones who are really extremist because we're not
killing things. they want to kill a baby five seconds before it goes into the birth canal. they don't even bother with safe, legal and rare. there's no such thing as safe, legal and rare. if you want something to be legal, you don't want it to be rare. if you want it to be rare, then you want it to be illegal. that is the point of it. or at the very least, if you want it to be rare, you want to set up social structure that is don't incentivize that behavior. there are ways to go on the attack, and i don't think it's worthwhile to give up on the social issues. i think it's worthwhile to reframe a lot of the social issues in a way that wins, and i think it is a moral imper thive and our main -- imperative, there's a character problem here. when they trot out women to say that we are restricting their choice, that is -- and say that we're anti-woman, it is not anti-woman to suggest that you are not allowed to kill a living human being, right in i mean, when you're talking about late term pregnancy by everybody's account, everybody understands by the time you hit eight
months, nine months, this is a living human being. everyone understands that. that's an argument that we ought to be hammering. we just can't have idiots like todd akin making it. [laughter] >> another question. far back corner, and then there's a lady down here in front. >> james swanson, heritage. what should mitt romney have said to candy crowley when she decided to correct him at the debate? and, side question, why do people like george stephanopoulos moderate republican party debates? >> well, the answer to the second one is the easier one which is republicans are morons. [laughter] in what world do you have a clinton hack asking obama talking points? the contraceptive/war on women question was clearly orchestrated. it is part of a broader campaign. i talk about it in the book. two weeks later they were attacking coleman for the war on women. it was obvious what he was doing. as far as how he should have dealt with candy crowley, we should make sure that the moderators aren't hacks.
and when candy crowley did that, he should have said, well, candy, your bias is showing right now. and then he should have explained what he meant when he said what he said. i mean, there are plenty of problems with the way that he handled the benghazi question, he could have handled it much stronger in general. but you can't let the media walk all over him. he let candy crowley just trample him. and, you know, that's painful. candy crowley is, you know -- [laughter] >> you've mentioned racist, sexist, capitalist, all evil. what about islam a phobes? you've deliberately stayed away from that, yet what would you recommend that reasonable people do is that our government officials will be willing to even discuss or attempt to understand the underlying ideology? >> well, i think that what we ought to be doing is people who cast around the term islamaphobe
are generally the same people who want to be soft on terrorism just as a general matter. it's a smoke screen. it applies to things that have nothing to do with whether somebody goes to mosque. an islamaphobe is somebody who -- just like a racist, somebody who thinks muslims are by necessity violent, evil, problematic, all of that. that is not what people mean when they use the term islamaphobe. when you say, for example, you are worried about the influence of the muslim brotherhood in this administration like michele bachmann did and then you're labeled an islamaphobe, how is that phobic unless these people are really arguing with the muslim brotherhood represents islam? my opinion i'm not attacking islam. if they want to lump in the muslim brotherhood, then they're the real islamaphobes. i mean, the reverse -- again, the polarity has to be reversed.
we can't accept the terms of their debate. the moment we do, we lose. >> we have one final question? [inaudible] just wait for the mic. >> just a small point, ben. to me, it seems to me there's a tactical advantage to looking civil when you're in an argument, and certainly romney is that, his basic personality. >> yeah. >> and i think obama, generally speaking, did not attack romney for using bad terms like racism and so forth, it was surrogates. >> it was all implied though. i mean, the undertone -- the key is we also have to uncover their undertone. so when they see things, like piers morgan never said i'm standing on the graves of sandy hook to push my agenda, he just did it. so we ought to be calling obama out when he actually does it. in his inaugural he never actually said we hate poor people, disabled people, he just implied it. and mitch mcconnell got up on
the senate floor and said obama implied that our entire agenda is driven by animus for victimized groups. as far as being civil, we have to have the appearance of civility, and then we have to shove the knife in as far as it'll possibly go can. if you read the transcript of what i said to piers, it was not nice things. i wasn't -- and they weren't meant to be nice. they were meant to force him into debate. and you can do it while still maintaining the appearance of civility. you can be a civil human being and say things that are -- i'm not claiming we should go out there and start ranting and raving and calling them racist back. our job is to debunk what they're say, and i think too often we mistake debunking what they're saying for civility. great. thanks so much. [applause] >> as we mentioned, we do have copies available. ben will be here to sign them, and i'm sure he'd be glad to talk with you a little bit more
up front too. thank you for your kind attention, we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> that should make you encouraged about the power of probability and of statistics in general. is now i'm -- so now i'm going to make you scared. so this is, actually, the end of the book, and it's a question, one of the questions i alluded to earlier, and the question is who gets to know what about you? and it begins last summer we hired a new babysitter. when she arrived at the house, i began to explain our family background, i am a professor, my wife is a teacher. she cut me off, she said, oh, i know, i googled you. [laughter] i was simultaneously relieved that i did not have to finish my spiel and mildly alarmed by how much of my life could be cobbled together from a short internet search. our capacity to gatter and
analyze huge quantities of data -- things i referred to earlier -- the marriage of digital information with cheap computing power and the internet is unique in human history. we're going the need some new rules for this new era. let's put the power of data in perspective with just one example from the retailer target. now, many of you -- this is a story that was told, i think, in "the new york times" magazine. i've summarized it here. like most companies, target strives to increase profits by understanding its customers. for the most part, this is a very good thing. to do that, the company hires statisticians to do the kind of, quote, predictive analytics prescribed earlier in the book. they use sales data combined with other information to figure out who buys what and why. nothing about this is inherently bad. it means that when you go to target, they're likely to be carrying things that you actually want to buy. but let's drill down for a moment on just one example of the kinds of things the statisticians working in the
windowless basement at corporate headquarters can figure out. i don't actually know if it's a window canless basement, i'm assuming. [laughter] all the statisticians i know look pale from working underground. pregnancy is a particularly important time in terms of developing shopping patterns. pregnant women develop a retail relationship that can last for decades. as result, target wants to identify pregnant women, particularly those in their second trimester, and get them into the stores more often. or a writer for "the new york times" magazine followed the predictive analytics team at target as it sought to find and attract pregnant shoppers. target deeply regrets this, i can assure you. [laughter] but i'm very appreciative. the first part is easy. target has a baby shower registry in which pregnant women register for baby gifts in advance of the birth of their children. these women are already target shoppers, and they've effectively told the story,
store not only that they're pregnant, but usually when they're due, so how far along they are. here's the statistical twist. target figured out that other women who demonstrate the same shopping patterns are probably pregnant too. for example, pregnant women often switch to unscented lotions. they begin to buy vitamin supplements. they start buying extra big bags of cotton balls. this is true. [laughter] who knew? the target-predicted analytics gurus identified 25 products that together made possible what they described as a pregnancy prediction score. the whole point of this able sis was -- analysis was to send pregnant women pregnancy-related coupons in hope of hooking them as long-term target shoppers. how good was the pod el? -- model? new york times magazine reported a story about a man from
minneapolis who walked into a target store and demanded to see the manager. the man was arate because his high school -- irate because his high school daughter was being bombarded with pregnancy-related coupons from target. quote, she's still in high school and you're sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant, he asked in the store manager apologized profusely. he even called the father several days later to apologize again, only this time the man was less irate. it was his turn to be apologetic. he said, it turns out there's been some activities in my house i haven't been completely aware of, the father said. she is due in august. the target statisticians had figured out that his daughter was pregnant before he did. all right. this is not even the creepiest part. [laughter] that is their business, and it's
also not their business. [laughter] it can feel more than later intrusive. for that reason some companies now mask how much they know about you. for example, if you are a pregnant woman in your second trimester, you may get some coupons in the mail for cribs and diapers along with a discount on a riding lawnmower and a coupon for free bowling socks with the purchase of any bowling shoes. to you, it just seems fortuitous the pregnancy-relateed coupons came in the mail along with the other junk. in fact, the company knows that you don't bowl, they know you don't cut your own lawn. it's merely covering the tracks so that what it knows doesn't seem so spooky. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> here's a look at some books that are being published this week.